The Austin Chronicle

Jenny Nulf's Top 10 Films in 2020

"2020 didn't take away my love for cinema"

By Jenny Nulf, December 18, 2020, Screens

At the beginning of 2020 I went to a Hyperreal Film Club event for Wong Kar-wai's Fallen Angels. I hadn't seen it yet and I wanted to before the restorations hit theatres later that year (spoiler: They are online now). Sitting in a room crammed with cinephiles was one of my favorite ways to pass the time, and not even a month later, that privilege was taken away from me when COVID-19 made its way to America.

The pandemic hit me hard. I was an unemployed film distributor, programmer, and critic. My whole world revolved around theatrical screenings. But I tried not to see my outlook as bleak. I shoveled in older cinema, discovering directors I fell in love with (thank you, Criterion Channel, for bringing Maurice Pialat to my attention) and diving into filmographies of directors I already adored (Nobuhiko Obayashi's His Motorbike, Her Island has been on my mind since August). I pushed myself to watch more diverse films like The Watermelon Woman (1996), and classics like The Goddess (1934) for the first time, and I am a better critic for it. In the end, 2020 didn't take away my love for cinema: It expanded it.

1) Fallen Angels (2020 restoration)

2) Undine

3) First Cow

4) I'm Thinking of Ending Things

5) Bacurau

6) Nomadland

7) Lovers Rock ("Small Axe" anthology)

8) Minari

9) Another Round

10) The Woman Who Ran

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